Ram Gopal Varma’s Phoonk returns with much scarer tactics. But the question is: Does it manage to scare the wits out of someone? While Phoonk had black magic and ended with the killing of Madhu (Ashwini Khalsekar), the woman who casts spell on Rajiv’s (Sudeep) daughter Raksha (Ahsaas Channa), Phoonk 2 begins with Madhu’s ghost returning from the grave to seek revenge on the family. A series of traumatising events, repulsing murders, visions, ghostly voices and unsettling incidents captivates the entire family.
A plethora of hackneyed approaches creating horror like a lone crow sitting on a tree, vacant swing swaying at night, lizard’s creeping, door shutting with an eerie sound and bungalow nestled into the jungle, swamp the entire film but by no means succeed in giving a panic attack.
The first half is slow with almost no action except a few jolts here and there; it is the second half which leads us into the horror montage. The cinematography is good; scenes shifting from one space to the other are captured with finesse. Certain shots are laudable especially the one where the car slams into the truck and kills Vinay (Rajiv’s friend). Above all, it is the prosthetic makeup of the ghost that stands out. Simply put, the story is mundane and has nothing pioneering. No new techniques or thrills that will elicit the emotions of fear, horror and terror.
Efforts at performances are futile due to lack of originality or substance in the script. Sudeep as the affectionate father trying to save his family is mediocre. Amruta Khanvilkar as the wife and the one who is possessed by the spirit plays her part with élan. Ahsaas Channa is okay. The rest of the cast fill in the empty spaces. Ashwini Khalsekar, who has a few lines, delivers more through her expressions and makeup.
Music is zilch. Horror sound effects are akin to any other movie of the same genre. Going back to Alibaug, the location is done to death, thus does not exude newness. The dialogue is day-to-day ones used by any family unit.
Phoonk 2 is just another disappointing horror film.